Saturday, June 28, 2014

Come to Me Softly (Closer to You #2) by A.L. Jackson: ARC Review


From the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Quietly comes a scorching new adult romance in the Closer to You series.

A second chance at life…
A second chance at love…

Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them. How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed?

To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest. But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions. When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before. And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.

Click to Buy the Closer to You Series on Amazon:

Author Bio:

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

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Review by Michelle:

A.L. Jackson has an incredible way with words that immerses you in her stories and forces you to feel every single word. Come to Me Softly is no field full of daisies. Jared Holt is a tormented soul who believes he doesn't deserve any good in his life. So, yes, this is definitely one emotionally charged read. The good news is, it is not ONLY a story with the potential to rip you to shreds, it is also an incredible love story about strength, forgiveness, and healing. I say only because there are some parts that will definitely tear you up inside, but there are also some that are so warm, so sweet, so full of hope it will put a permanent smile on your face, a spring in your step, and a lump in your throat.

It is awfully hard not to fall for a beautifully damaged man like Jared who has so much good and love inside of him yet fights with everything he has not to let himself experience these things in the name of penance, to deny his feelings in sacrifice for the one that he loves, and vows never to know true happiness. From the moment we were introduced to Jared in Come to me Quietly I knew that he was something special and by the end, I was sure there was no way I could fall any harder. Well I did. A.L. Jackson accomplished the seemingly impossible, making me an even bigger advocate and admirer than I already was. This was no small feat yet just a small piece of the magic that this author conjures with her larger than life characters, their touching history, and their heartbreaking drama.

There was a whole lot of love going on in this story and it was on a whole new level than Come to Me Quietly. I am a build-up fanatic. Even though I am all about the chase, the slow burn of attraction, and the attempt to deny the undeniable, it was breathtaking to finally experience the full extent of Jared and Aly's liberated, unadulterated, endless love. As heartwarming and fulfilling experiencing their inspiring romance was, I just wish that there was a bit more going on in the first half of the story. I was constantly on the edge of my seat waiting for the other shoe to drop knowing there had to be more to this complicated love story and for more than half of the book there really wasn't. The last 25% or so though was pure perfection. Exactly what the story needed, precisely what the two of them needed for their relationship, and just what Jared needed to finally come to terms with things, accept the good in his life, face the past, and move forward.

I absolutely loved that in this story, as is often the case in reality, love does not heal all wounds, love actually doesn't always conquer all, and that love is not always the answer. Jared and Aly undeniably have a deep and profound love but that alone was not the key to Jared's happiness and he was not miraculously healed of all his pain, guilt, and insecurities once the two declared their love for one another.

Come to Me Softly is a powerful, moving, beautiful love story. I could not have asked for a better conclusion to Aly and Jared's turbulent journey. I am anxiously awaiting reading more about Christopher in the next book, Come to Me Recklessly, in which I am sure we will be seeing more of these two and hope they are finally in for some smooth sailing.

Rating: 4 Stars

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1 comment:

  1. Fantastic Review! I completely agree that there needed to be a bit more going on for most of the novel but the ending freakin rocked! A.L. Jackson is the queen of the "feels" I love her!
    Happy Reading!